MOTFL Episode 31: Allyship: Moving from Performativity to Authenticity: Conversation Between Friends Series #3

In this episode we discuss:

  • what it means to be an ally
  • the difference between performative and authentic allyship
  • how allyship differs from friendship and being a coalition partner
  • stigma jumping vs intersectional activism and advocacy


Allyship – An active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group and works to ensure equality, opportunity and inclusion for everyone. (Thank you to Sonya, Sophie, Gigi and Lilah – students in Dionne Bensonsmith’s “Introduction to Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality” Class in the Fall 2019 at Scripps College – for this definition.)

Intersectionality – A framework for understanding the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. (This term was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989.)

Stigma-Jumping – Avoiding association with potential allies or coalition partners to avoid their stigma being attached to your cause, organization or person. Stigma jumping is a barrier to intersectional activism and advocacy and therefore neglects the most vulnerable. (This term was coined by Tammy Nyden in 2017.)


Allyship (Definitions):

Rochester Racial Justice Toolkit “What is Allyship?”

Michelle Kim “Allyship (& Accomplice): The What, the Why, and the How

Seventeen Magazine “What is Performative Allyship?

Teaching Tolerance “Ally or Accomplice: The Language of Activism

On Privilege and Power

University of San Francisco, Gleeson Library “White Privilege Resource Guide

How to be an Ally (start here and by all means, do not stop):

The Anti-Oppression Network “Allyship

Amélie Lamont “Guide to Allyship

Jamie Utt  “So You Call Yourself an Ally: 10 Things All ‘Allies’ Need to Know

Chris Scot Cole “3 Things Not To Do When Someone Discloses Their Invisible Disability

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